Kan encourages MSDF to brace for N Korean threat, fight terrorism
Sunday 25th October, 04:48 PM JST
Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan encouraged the Maritime Self-Defense Force on Sunday to brace for increased threat from North Korea and to combat terrorism during an MSDF fleet review in Sagami Bay off Kanagawa Prefecture.
‘‘As security conditions surrounding Japan have drastically changed recently, the Self-Defense Forces are required to respond to diverse situations involving the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles as well as terrorism,’’ Kan said in an address aboard the 5,200-ton destroyer Kurama.
He flew to the vessel by helicopter for the review. Kan attended the event on behalf of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who is in Thailand to attend the summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its regional partners.
Kan said Pyongyang’s missile launch in April that flew over Japan and a nuclear test in May ‘‘can never be tolerated’’ and the reclusive nation remains ‘‘a serious threat to the peace and security of Japan, East Asia and the international community.’’
Commending the MSDF for its antipiracy mission off Somalia, Kan said he expects that the naval officers will ‘‘contribute to the peace and stability of the world under democratic (civilian) control.’’
At the review, Kan watched a parade of MSDF vessels with binoculars, flanked by Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.
The review involved 40 vessels and 31 aircraft, including the MSDF state-of-the-art Aegis destroyers, submarines, a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship and a crowd of about 8,000 SDF personnel and invitees. The event, which is held every three years, cost about 300 million yen including ammunition expenses, according to the Defense Ministry.
In a demonstration, an MSDF vessel showed how it fends off approaching pirate boats in the sea off Somalia by emitting a special sound that annoys pirates.